5. Wooden furniture
So many things can go wrong for beginner do-it-yourselfers that try their hand at restoring wood furniture. For a successful job, you need to use the right technique, identify the wood type, clean with solvents, remove finishes, sand, match colors, and more. Physical strength demands on the laborer is also a big factor. Quality work requires a number of tools, an ideal workspace with natural lighting, storage space if you don’t complete it immediately.
4. Ornate & Intricately Carved Pieces
Restoring wood furniture is time-consuming and challenging, especially in the case of ornate carvings or intricately shaped features like twist legs on a table. Any mistake made to an ornate piece can be compromising its design and value. According to a professional from the National Institute of Wood Finishing, accurate restoration requires understanding of organic chemistry and a mastery of wood-working and wood-finishing skills. To put this in perspective – it will usually take someone 9 months of preparation and training to reach a decent level of wood-finishing skill.
3. Upholstered Pieces
You need about 20 tools to perform an upholstery job. These can be expensive to rent or purchase. Also, the techniques employed are often tiring, difficult and lengthy. It’s not unusual for the restoration of an upholstered chair to take about 18 hours to complete. There are many cumbersome steps involved, including removal of old upholstery, cleaning the frame and upholstery, repairing frames, finishing, replacing cushion fillings, applying trimming and more. If an upholstered furniture piece has any kind of sentimental or financial value to you, perhaps it’s worth having restored, rather than trying to conserve original materials and rebuild it yourself.
2. Rare Antiques
Museum-quality items should only be handled by a professional. By attempting to refinish common antiques at home, you risk making a mistake that can lower its value or damage the sheen that gives it an old look (and proves its age). You can also overdo the restoration by replacing more than necessary. If you don’t know what to look for, you can mistakenly sand or scrape away desirable marks of age like small grooves chiseled to mark their order.
1. Expensive Furniture
Whatever the reason — immaculate design, longevity and durability of the construction, or simply a rarity in the marketplace — restoration can also be pricey. There is no room for mistakes. Do not take on a refinishing a costly furniture piece if you can’t afford to buy a replacement if you botch the job. Consequences of an uncorrectable mistake can be thousands of dollars. Also, if that piece is no longer for sale, or if it would be difficult to find so consider turning it over to a professional for restoration.